What are the steps to

file for separation and custody of minor children? and in what order should i do them? also, what’s the typical costs to file? i live in granville county if that makes a difference.

i’m currently still living with my soon to be ex. we have 3 young children, and for their sake i believe they need to be with me. i’ve mentioned splitting up to him before, and he knows i’m not happy with our situation, his typical response is, ‘if you leave, just remember i have a big gun and know how to use it.’ obviously, even if he’s partially joking i still want to get out. that’s not funny, at all! i feel like i need out for the kids’ and my benefit. i want custody of the kids, because he has told me before that if i ever do leave him, he’ll do anything he can to take the kids cause that’s the one thing he knows will truly hurt me. i’m not currently employed, but i am actively job hunting, the market is tough right now, so work is scarce, he works on and off under the table. is there any way i can go ahead and file for custody of the kids before i leave so when i am able to go he can’t take them away from me? also, what are the chances of met getting custody seeing as i’m not working right now? what steps would you suggest i take? please help! thanks!

There is no legal separation status in NC so there is nothing that is filed in order to commence a separation. Separation is simply the act of living separate and apart.

You can file an action for custody prior to leaving the home. To file an action for child custody you need to file a Complaint in the civil district court in your county, the cost of filing a custody complaint is about $90.00.

Your unemployed status should not act as a strike against you with respect to custody. You may even be entitled to have your spouse pay your attorney’s fees incurred in seeking custody and support.

If you are afraid that your spouse is capable of hurting you or the children I would advise you to go to the court house and file for a domestic violence order of protection. There is no fee to file this document, filing the Complaint will allow the court to award you possession of the house (forcing him out) and temporary custody of the children.

I recommend that you speak to an attorney prior to moving forward on your own.

thanks erin! if/when i do file a custody complaint will i have to notify my husband of it, or can i do it and keep it quiet. i know that if he knows about it, that it will cause a lot of unneeded drama for me and the kids, and we all ready have more than enough of that as it is.

He will have to be served with the Complaint within 60 days of it being filed. There is really no advantage in hiding the filing from him, as he will have to be notified prior to any hearings.